In this article, I discuss how to avert and address burnout at work, sports and other activities. In my work as a Calgary psychologist and a Cochrane psychologist, I often encounter clients who are suffering from burnout as a result of activities they are engaged in including work and sports. The primary symptoms of burnout are physical and mental exhaustion, actual and perceived decreases in effectiveness and negative attitudes toward the activity. These symptoms often lead to people quitting activities...[more]
The June 2nd episode of The Arena Podcast with co-Hosts Joe McFarland and Dave McIvor features a conversation with former Stampeders quarterback Andrew Buckley about how being a football player was kind of his Plan B. Also, psychologist Dr. Patrick Keelan discusses burnout in athletes.
In this article, I discuss how to cope with those days when you’re not feeling good emotionally. There are some days when you’re ‘on’ and other days when you’re ‘not on’. When you’re on, you feel relaxed, have positive thoughts and emotions and things just seem often seem to flow along effortlessly. When you’re not on, it’s just the opposite. You don’t feel good emotionally, you frequently have negative thoughts, you feel tense instead of relaxed, you lack energy and feel like getting even the smallest tasks accomplished is a grind. Sometimes you’re on or not on because of what happened to you that day or because of your ongoing life circumstances. At other times, being on or not on is an internal state unrelated to what’s going on in your life or what happened during your day. Whatever the reason, it can be challenging to get through the day when you’re not on...[more]
In this article, I discuss how you can use skills from cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) to manage guilt. In my work as a Calgary psychologist and a Cochrane psychologist, I often help clients whose goal is to deal with guilt they are experiencing over something they have done. These clients typically feel remorse for the harm they believe they have caused. They also often feel helpless because, although they regret their actions which may have caused harm, they cannot undo them. The result is that they spend much of the time ‘beating themselves up’ over what they have done...[more]
In this article, I discuss how you and your partner can use listening skills to enhance your ability to discuss relationship issues constructively. In my work as a Calgary psychologist and a Cochrane psychologist, I often help individuals and couples whose goal is to improve their relationships. This often entails helping them to improve their ability to discuss issues constructively. One of the best ways to improve this ability is to use effective listening during discussions of issues...[more]
In this article, I discuss the importance of steering clear of settings and activities which make it more likely you will choose to engage in behaviours you are trying to reduce or eliminate. In my work as a Calgary psychologist and a Cochrane psychologist, I often help clients whose goals are to reduce or eliminate behaviours which are having negative effects on their lives. These behaviours include alcohol and drug use, gambling, internet use, and binge eating--to name a few. The first step I typically take in helping these clients is to make them aware of settings and activities which put them at risk for engaging in their problematic behaviours...[more]
In this article, I discuss whether there are disadvantages to having and facilitating good self-esteem. In my work as a Calgary psychologist and a Cochrane psychologist, clients often ask for my help in improving their self-esteem. These are typically people who can clearly benefit from changing the negative view they have of themselves with its deleterious effects on their moods, relationships and performance in various domains including work and school. In turn, when these clients take steps toward developing a more positive view of themselves it typically results in significant improvement in these areas of their lives. So taking steps to foster self-esteem in yourself and others is recommended to the point of being a slam dunk, right?...[more]
In this article, I discuss how the approach to tracking progress in a marathon or a triathlon can be helpful in rebuilding a relationship. In my work as a Calgary psychologist and a Cochrane psychologist, I help many clients improve their relationships in couples counselling. In some instances, the relationship has deteriorated so much that one or both partners have very little motivation to work on skills to improve the relationship and may even be considering getting out. At such a dire point, the partners may believe that they do not have the energy to work on the relationship. They may additionally believe that even if they were both willing to work on the relationship, there would be little point in doing so given the relationship’s current hopeless state. In these apparently pessimistic circumstances, I try to be realistically optimistic with the couples with whom I am working...[more]
Registered psychologist Dr. Patrick Keelan discusses two categories of strategies to help you manage stress: Taking action to address sources of stress in your life while using skills and activities to make it easier to handle them emotionally.
In this article, I discuss how using each category of stress management skills is improved by using skills from the other category. In my work as a Calgary psychologist and a Cochrane psychologist, clients often ask for my help in managing stress. My plan to help them typically involves using two categories of strategies—(1) Problem-focused coping in which they take action to reduce or eliminate sources of stress like problems at work or school, relationship issues, and financial difficulties; and (2) Self-focused coping in which they use skills and activities to improve their emotional reaction to sources of stress. In turn, self-focused coping strategies are of three kinds...[more]